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2015 World Ag Expo Kicks Off In Tulare


The World Ag Expo began its three day run in Tulare on Tuesday. FM89's Ezra David Romero says this year's show has a focus on drones, robotic technology and apps for the farm. 

Romero: "Everyone's really excited about drones this year. I know drones are a hot topic, so there's three or four different drone exhibitors. A lot of them are using infrared technology and GoPro-style cameras and they're flying over fields and making these maps that are a composite of their acreage, and they're finding out which areas are dry, where they need to fertilize, to find out how they can better farm."

But it's not just hardware. He says there's also plenty of new software that is being developed to meet the needs of farmers, from managing robots to collecting other farm data.

Romero: " It seems like every exhibitor I talk to has an app that links their product. There's also a group that's making these robotic tractors, they actually use a drone to go out and map a course, and then the tractor will go out and do all the work that the drone just told it to do. They bring their composite images and their work, and it goes straight to your smartphone with all the data it collects."

Global trade was another big topic at the show on Tuesday. A top USDA official told the crowd that pending free trade agreements with Europe and Asia could boost the valley's ag economy. 

The World Ag Expo runs through Thursday. 

Ezra David Romero is an award-winning radio reporter and producer. His stories have run on Morning Edition, Morning Edition Saturday, Morning Edition Sunday, All Things Considered, Here & Now, The Salt, Latino USA, KQED, KALW, Harvest Public Radio, etc.
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